Monday, July 16, 2012

Today's Special - - Terri Osburn

I'm so excited to welcome Terri Osburn to The Romance Dish today.  Terri and I first met several years ago at the Eloisa James bulletin board...or maybe at Squawk Radio.  We frequented both venues so it's hard to tell which was our first meeting.  Since then, I've watch Terri transition from a loyal romance reader to a popular blogger to a Golden Heart® finalist.  I have complete confidence that it's only a matter of time until we welcome her here as a published author!  


Terri has been reading Romance for more than twenty-five years and writing her own stories for the last five. She is a 2012 Golden Heart® finalist in the Contemporary Single Title category, a PRO member of RWA, and is represented by Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill Associates.  She lives on the coast of Virginia with her teenage daughter, two fat cats, and one hyper Yorkie-poo. She also blogs with a group of aspiring/published authors aboard the Romance Writers Revenge sailing the stormy publishing seas with little more than a wish and a whistle. Find out more about Terri at her website.




A Reader's Ultimate Fantasy
by Terri Osburn

I've been reading Romance for almost three decades. For all that time, writers have been my rock stars. Back in 2006 when I stumbled onto Eloisa James' bulletin board late on a Friday night, I had no idea what that one click would mean. I just knew I could talk directly to this author I'd adored for years and she actually talked back.

How cool is that??

I didn't know what a blog was. Had never heard of Romance Writers of America® (RWA). Didn't even know there were awards for Romance novels let alone one for books yet to be published. But I caught on quick.

Thanks to other members of that bulletin board, I got the itch to write my own novels. At first it was just for fun. "Let me see if I can do this" rolled into "I'll never be good enough to get published, but I could still have fun with it" which slid right into "I'd kind of like to be published." 

Six years later I'm up for a Golden Heart® award, which according to the RWA website "promote[s] excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding romance manuscripts." That's me with an outstanding manuscript. How about that?

The accolades that come with this recognition are huge. First off, just becoming a finalist is the win. To actually have my name called on July 28th at the big awards ceremony in Anaheim, CA would be the delectable frosting on a killer cupcake. Becoming part of this class of 2012, which we've affectionately titled The Firebirds, is like landing in the middle of a hot tub filled with Buffie's hot bods and suddenly looking like Angelina Jolie.

Yeah, it's that good.

But the real fantasy, other than landing an amazing agent (waves to Nalini!) and being within smelling distance of selling, is that now I get to hang out with those rock stars. Some of them even act like I'm one of their ilk. Not a rock star, of course, but a writer. Authors I've watched turn out best seller after best seller have emailed me. ME!

They offer their congratulations, their wisdom, and their support. I've always known that Romance authors are the coolest people on the planet, but now I get to stand around with them and pretend I'm one of them. And they aren't tossing me out and bolting the door. Crazy. Crazy I tell you!

This is the ultimate fantasy for a Romance reader. It's like being a music lover and suddenly landing a job with Rolling Stone. Or a movie buff and being asked to sit front row at the Oscars. And attend all the parties! (We must not forget the parties.) If anyone ever ventures to create the ultimate fantasy getaway for Romance readers, just give them the Golden Heart® experience.

Talk about the trip of a lifetime.

Have you ever considered writing a Romance? Ever met your favorite author? Who and when, tell us all about it. Is there an author you're dying to meet? Give them a shout out today and maybe they'll pop up in your neck of the words on their next book tour.


Thanks for blogging with us today, Terri and best wishes for "Meant to Be!"  


Here's the blurb from "Meant to Be," Terri's unpublished manuscript that's a finalist for the Golden Heart®.



"Meant to Be" - finalist in the Contemporary Single Title Category

Lifelong people-pleaser Beth Chandler will do anything to make a good impression on her future in-laws, including defy her fear of boats to make the ferry crossing required to meet them.  Lucky for her, a lovable mutt and his tall, sexy, blue-eyed owner provide enough distraction to subdue her paralyzing panic attack. But Beth's human tranquilizer turns out to be her future brother-in-law, Joe Dempsey, and their instant attraction is both unwelcome and undeniable.

When a demanding case pulls her fianc√© back to the city, Beth begins to realize he's already married – to his work. Are solitary nights and mind-numbing dinner parties really what she wants for her future? Torn between loyalty to Lucas and her growing feelings for Joe, Beth begins to rethink her choices and consider a future different from the one laid out before her. One including an island, a dog, and a man she can never have.

I don't know about the rest of you but I can't wait to read the whole story!

~PJ

52 comments:

  1. Terri is such a great gal! I have no doubt she's on her way to the top :)

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  2. Welcome, Terri! It's such a thrill to have you here today as a Golden Heart Finalist! I think most of us from the EJ Board have known from way back that you were destined for great things. Your talent and determination are too strong to not take you to wonderful places and the GH is just the first stop on this marvelous journey.

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    1. You are too sweet, PJ. So many of the Bon Bons have hit the big time so it often feels like I'm way behind. But I'm more than happy to have landed where I am today. Everything in due time. I hope.

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  3. Uh-Oh! From your synopsis, it sounds like Beth Chandler needs to RUN from her relationship with Lucas before she ends up as a sad and lonely wife. Joe appears to be a sensitive man able to calm a panicky woman and care for his dog. I'm looking forward to reading "Meant to Be."

    I grew up reading romance novels and will never stop. I have so many favorite authors. I have become special friends with author Karen Ranney. She and I chat via email on a daily basis. She had a daily blog called Warm Fuzzies which she has recently stopped due to her increased novel writing duties. My husband and I wrote some guest blogs and I recently met a fellow "Fuzzball" during our summer stay in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. Karen is not only the very talented author of many historical romance novels but a dear friend as well. In addition, I have gotten to know historical author, Sandra Worth quite well. Her novels are wonderfully researched and beautifully written. In addition, she is a lovely lady and a good friend. I would so love to meet both Karen Ranney and Sandra Worth in person one day.

    I urge all readers to communicate with authors whose work they enjoy. Tell them how you like their novels and ask them questions, etc. It's great to get to know the person behind that wonderful novel you enjoyed reading.

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    1. Thank you so much, Connie. Fingers crossed you'll be able to read Beth & Joe's story soon. You are so right about connecting with our favorite authors. I'd never have thought of it before 2006, but I've been so fortunate to meet so many. And low and behold, they're everyday people just like us. Who'd a thunk?!

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  4. Thank you, PJ, for this amazing invite and to all the Dish ladies for having me here. Boyo is that a big picture of me! LOL!

    Thanks, Kellie! I don't know about the top but I'd be happy with a little door opened near the bottom. :)

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  5. Hey, Terri! *waving and blowing kisses* I am utterly thrilled for you----so wish I was going to be in Anaheim to give you a big hug in person. Your talent has been apparent for quite some time---who knew that EJ's board would be your springboard?! Yay! I'm certain your book will be published, and I will most definitely buy it and wave it around in the bookstore, telling everyone they must read it! ;-))))

    I have to agree with you about romance authors (and readers, too), they are one of the most generous, big-hearted gathering of people I know.

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    1. Kisses right back at you, Gannon! Thank you for all the support and I too wish you could be there in Anaheim. The EJ board gave birth to at least seven published authors I can think of and there might be more I don't even know about. LOL! Joining that group changed my life in so many good ways.

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  6. I've read "Meant to Be" and loved it--likeable, interesting characters, memorable setting, and strong sexual tension! It's a keeper. The rest of you have a treat in store when it's published. I'm thrilled about Terri's GH nod and will be keeping all appendages crossed and awaiting news on Twitter come July 28. But whatever happens that night, Terri is a winner already.

    I think the EJ/JQ board was a life-changing experience for a lot of us. In addition to giving me a safe place to unfurl my fiction writing wings, it gave me friendships I cherish. As for writers, the romance community has an abundance of warm, gracious writers who are willing to befriend and encourage new talent and respond to enthusiastic readers. I still find it hard to believe that I'm on a first name basis with so many writers whose books I love.

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    1. Thank you again for reading the MS, Janga and your spot on feedback made it that much better. You are definitely right about me already being a winner. Getting that call and then meeting the fantastic group of ladies in this class with me were enough to make this an amazing year. All the other benefits have me pinching myself daily.

      I still miss that bulletin board. We had so much fun, it was like gathering with your best girlfriends every day. And then to have our favorite authors hanging out as well was a big deal for this long time reader.

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  7. Hi Terri!
    What a great post!
    Not only have I considered writing a romance, I am currently working on my very first manuscript. And like you said, the romance community is the best because everyone I've talked to about it have been nothing but kind and encouraging!

    I have been extremely lucky in that I've had a chance to meet so many wonderful authors whose work I love and admire,and they have all been just as nice andd fantastic in real life.

    I would LOVE to meet Nora because she's the first romance author I've ever met, and I have been a huge fan of hers ever since, and Lisa Kleypas, who is just a phenomenally talented author too, and from what I hear is one of the nicest sweetest people around. But I fear if I ever do meet them, I'd just be star struck and tongue tied! lol

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    1. Lisa, I hope you get to meet both of them in Anaheim! My first "author encounter" was at the literacy signing at the Atlanta RWA National in 2006. I was blown away by how open, friendly and warm so many of my favorite authors were.

      Lisa Kleypas and I kept missing each other until two years ago at the RWA conference in Orlando when we finally met in person. What you've heard about her is true. She's one of the kindest, sweetest, most genuine people you'll ever meet and she will immediately put you at ease. If you get the chance to meet her in Anaheim - and your brain continues to function - tell her I said hello! ;-)

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    2. Lisa is going to be in Anaheim?? You must find me and say hello!

      And I keep forgetting to hit the right "Reply" button. LOL!

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  8. Good morning, Lisa! Congrats on diving into writing and good luck with your first MS. Love that new MS smell. :)

    I've been in Nora's vicinity but I'm not sure I can claim I've met her. She was behind me in line at a conference once and mentioned the salads were warm the day before. I have no idea what I said back. LOL! Lisa truly is the sweetest person. I met her briefly and within seconds she was talking as if we were old friends. You just want to hug her she's so cute!

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  9. I had dinner with Eloisa James a few years ago and she was incredibly generous and sweet. And my mentor, Caroline Linden, has been so helpful and wonderful, I have no words for her. She's the best. :)

    As to Ter, all this couldn't be happening to a nicer person. I'm so glad you've got your ticket to the ball this year, Ter! :) Can't wait to hear more about Anaheim and, of course, to hear when you sell. :)

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    1. Thanks, Marn! From your keyboard to God's ear. I hope Caroline will be in Anaheim so I can get to meet her. I love her voice.

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    2. Hi Marnee! I enjoy Caroline Linden's books and she seems like she'd be the nicest person. I've met her at a few signings and she was all smiles and warmth.

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    3. Caroline is a darling. Full of awesome. And of course her books are wonderful. I think she is going to Nationals, Ter, so you can stop by and say hi. :)

      Hi PJ!! :)

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  10. Yes, I've wanted to write a romance (since I was about 10 or 12). Yes, I have met a favorite author--Leslie Langtry--where I screeched like a ninja and went running across the room. (The exact way you should NOT greet a perfect stranger incidentally.) I would LOVE to meet J.K. Rowling, but that's on the Bucket List. *LOL*

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    1. If you ever get to meet Ms. Rowling, I hope I'm there to see it. Between the squealing and the tip-toe dancing, I'll need to make sure I have a video camera. But then the conversation that would follow. That would be so sweet!

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    2. Now that's a video sure to go viral! And one I want to see! :)

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  11. Terri, it was such a joy to read your name on RWA's website as a GH nominee. The EJJQ board has to have been one of the seminal germinating grounds for romance writers ever--a true writer fairytale, where they started of as a reader, became a fan, transformed into a writer. So many of the Bon-Bons have made it big, and now you're joining in the ranks. And luckily, the ones ahead of you will generously lend you their helping hands. I'm glad to read that you're been enjoying your GH journey so far. I wish you all the best in Anaheim. I'll be awaiting the news virtually, since I won't be actually there.

    And like you all I miss the board and also Squawk.

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    1. Thank you, Keira. Yes, bringing up the rear, so to speak, has its advantages. I've learned a ton watching others traverse the publishing waters. Priceless information there. Will miss you in Anaheim!

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    2. Hi Keira! I wonder if any other online community has spawned as many talented, and successful, writers as that board did? Not only can the Bon-Bons boast a bevy of published authors but multiple award finalists and winners as well!

      Goes without saying that I miss Squawk too but I treasure the many friendships that began there.

      I won't be in Anaheim either but am already planning for Atlanta in 2013. Will be much easier (and less expensive) with the conference practically in my back yard.

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  12. Terri, you've talking about reading, talked about writing, talked about killer cupcakes. Now, let's get down to the really important stuff. What will you be wearing on Awards night? Any photos you can share or do you want it to be a surprise on the big night? I'm fairly confident that you'll be wearing killer shoes. I still remember your awards night shoes from DC. Some serious shoe envy going on that night! :)

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    1. You get right to the important stuff, PJ! LOL! I'm happy to share. I'm wearing a full length dress in deep purple. Here's a link if anyone wants to see. http://tinyurl.com/7gf94b3

      I hope I look half as good as the model. Shoes are shiny black but I'll be wearing several pair of heels throughout the week. I'm already negotiating with my knees so they won't be too angry. And I have slip on knee supports.

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    2. That is a gorgeous dress and you are going to look gorgeous in it. So wish my camera and I were going to be there!

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  13. Hey ladies!

    Terri-I can't tell you how proud I am of you and all the bon bons. It's like being a parent to the most talented group of kids EVER! It makes my heart swell to see you all succeeding in all of your dreams. Fingers crossed that you walk across that stage in just a couple weeks! And I can't wait for your sale announcement.

    xoxo
    Kim

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    1. You did a great job as Bon Bon herder, Kimmie. LOL! Thanks for all the support throughout the years.

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  14. Terri-

    I'm so excited for you!!! So, so thrilled to see you bloom and become so confident in your skills as a writer. You've always had it in you, you just needed a handful of cheerleaders to help you along. I'm so humbled by all you've accomplished in the past 6 years. It's just awe-inspiring.

    As for me, I have no desire, no talent for writing. I like studying people, taking apart their pasts, understanding motives. But I do not like writing about them. Or imagining scenarios for them. I'm a reader through and through. Not a writer at all. And that's ok with me. With how many Bon-Bons publishing, I will never have a lack of books to read.

    I can't wait for July 28th! You're going to look so gorgeous. With your coloring, the jewel tones are just perfect. They don't detract from your natural beauty, and they make your skin and hair just shine. UGH! So beautiful. Get outta here! You're going to look divine.

    Lovingly,

    Diana Greenroad

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    1. Thank you, Di!! You have been my staunchest supporter and I love you for that. Re: the dress. I'm prepared for the Barney jokes, but I'm wearing it anyway. The best part, it's so comfortable! And I can wear it again for the company Christmas party in December. Huzzah!

      Nothing wrong with being a reader. We're all that first and last, I think.

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  15. I've met several of my fav authors and done the total loss of the ability to speak thing. Sigh. I'm sorta hoping for a chance to sit down and chat with one at the Nationals, she gave me such a fab blurb for the latest book... Been planning what to say so I don't go all spastic speech on her!

    Isn't Barney sorta the colors of grape? Your dress isn't that! I'll be sure to bring the good camera and not just the iphone to take pics!

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    1. I don't know what shade to call Barney. He's a shade unto himself. Just remember to breathe and that she's human just like you. You can do it! I'll help you. If I have time. LOL!

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  16. I love to write but I think I'm realizing that I love to read more! LOL Which is why I'm sooooo excited I'm going to be able to add your new series (yes, I'm looking for more than one book) to my TBR pile. I'm guessing it won't be there long, though. Something tells me I'm gonna devour it in one night. :)

    I am so excited for you. I know it has been said over and over but I'm going to say it again - it couldn't happen to a more deserving, sweet, nice person. Your presence on the internet jumps off the screen and welcomes the reader in - I'm sure your books will do the exact same thing.

    I've met one author (Eloisa James) and almost met another (Susa Elizabeth Phillips). I was too chicken to go up to SEP. EJ was fabulous. Very welcoming, kind and funny. SEP was fun to watch even though I didn't venture forward.

    To tell the truth it was more fun for me to hook up with the fellow readers I've spent so much time on the EJ/JQ board "talking" to over the years. You are a great group of ladies and deserve all the success you've all found over the years, whether it be as a published author, heading up your own review site or blogging about the wonderful world of romance novels.

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  17. Oh and the dress is beautiful, Ter. You're gonna look great in it!

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    1. Thank you, Irish! I'm still miffed we have yet to meet in person, but someday! I met SEP once and said the intelligent line "I want to be you when I grow up." *smacks forehead* Thank goodness that woman has such a great sense of humor. EJ is fabulous. :)

      This is the first book of a series and I'm writing the second one now. Fingers crossed!!

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  18. Congrats again on your GH final, Terri! I can't wait to cheer you on in Anaheim *g* Love the premise for your book and the dress is gorgeous :-)

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    1. Hey there, Beth! Thanks so much. You know it was Bandita Jeanne that called me and I'm still worried I cursed in her ear and she won't tell me. LOL! I appreciate the cheers and the kind words on the dress. Now here's hoping I don't trip on it.

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  19. Hi Terri! I hope that you already know how happy and excited I am for you and this amazing accomplishment! I have fingers and toes crossed for you winning The Golden Heart Award this year. The excerpt has me wanting very much to read the entire book, so I hope that being a finalist gets you a smart publisher’s attention.

    I have never given much thought to writing for myself. Reading is my passion, but I don’t feel the creative spark necessary to write really well. Anyway, it would take too much time away from my reading!

    I have met some of my favorite authors on a few occasions and they were all invariably friendly and welcoming to me. I met Eloisa James, Connie Brockway, Vanessa Kelly and TRD's own PJ. at RWA/NYC last year. I also attended Avon's Reader's Tea during that conference where I met Stephanie Laurens, Galen Foley, Miranda Neville, Sarah MacLean, Katherine Ashe and Maya Rodale.

    In January of this year I had the pleasure of hosting a brunch in Bellevue, Washington for Eloisa James and Connie Brockway again, as well as Julia Quinn, Christina Dodd and Lisa Kleypas. We met prior to a book signing event where they were all scheduled to appear. PJ. Gave me the honor of writing a guest blog about that day for The Romance Dish!

    Now I am looking forward to spending a few days at RWA/2012 in Anaheim later this month. I am now again in the process of arranging some meetings with favorite authors, and I'm looking forward to meeting you there!

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    1. I am honored that you included me, Flora. I can't wait to meet you too! Sounds like you've made lots of friends. I love that there are so many opportunities now for readers to meet their favorite authors and for those authors to connect with their fans.

      I hope you'll get a chance to read the book eventually too. We're working hard to make that happen.

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  20. SQUEEEEE! Terri, I am so happy for you! In fact, I did a fist pump when I first saw your name on the list of Golden Heart nominees. I wish you all the very best for a win and a sale! (((hugs)))

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    1. Forgot to say--I can't wait to read the whole book!

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  21. Terri, thanks for visiting with us today! We wish you all the best in the Golden Heart!

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    1. Thanks again, PJ. I've loved being the Special of the Day. :)

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  22. Sounds like a good start to a writing career. Great attitude. Being nominated for an award is an honor in itself. Even if you don't win, you are one of a select few.

    I have thought about writing for many years, but I haven't done it yet. I have been content with the stories winding their way through my head. Maybe someday I will give it a try. I haven't met any of my favorite authors, and there are many. I have met a few authors at book signings and know a couple that live in our area (not romance authors, though). One of these days I will make it to an event like RWA and RonCon and be able to see and maybe meet many of them.

    Best of luck with the publication of MEANT TO BE. I'll be looking for it.

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    1. The RWA National conference will be in Atlanta next July. Not that far from you and the Literacy Signing (open to the public) boasts 400+ authors!

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    2. Thank you, librarypat! And PJ is right, if Atlanta isn't far, do attend the book signing. Though it's more like 500 authors! You're sure to find your favorites there somewhere.

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    3. I had to go when it was scheduled for Nashville in 2010, but was flooded out. We were just home from Orlando when it was switched. No luck all the way around. I was set to go to the librarians section of the conference as well as volunteer. Atlanta is not far, about 4 hours. It might just be possible.

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    4. Be sure to let us know if you decide to go to Atlanta next year. Many of us will be there!

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    5. Be sure to let us know if you decide to go to Atlanta next year. Many of us will be there!

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